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tv   ABC 7 News at 600  ABC  August 23, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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>> the storm has the potential to cruise up the entire seaboard bringing an awful lot of rain and wind. " we just received an update from the bahamas ministry of tourism and aviation. officials are telling the media to warn people who are actually in the bahamas right now to make arrangements to leave the bahamas as soon as possible. if people have any plans going into the bahamas over the next five days, they should cancel those plans. the high school was damage from the earthquake. she has just arrived there on the same. >> tell us what you are seeing there. >> everything is quiet right here, right now. it is right in the epicenter of the surprise earthquake.
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the kids work in school today. they went back the 15th. to look at it right now, it does not look like major damage. inside ceilings fell down. there were light fixtures dangling great things were falling off the shelves. the kids were freaking out. we spoke with one ninth grader. this is what he told us. >> it was shaking real bad. the blind started shaking and stuff started falling from the ceiling. we had to run in front of the school. some of the kids were freaking out. >> what we are told by officials is that there were no serious injuries. a lot of bumps and bruises. there was once and that was
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transported to the hospital. no serious injuries that we are aware of. we can tell you that building inspectors are on the scene. at this point, we are told that all the schools will be closed until further notice. there were other buildings around this area that were damaged. coming up, i will tell you about a third down the street that got hit. >> ok. the roads are still blocked in the area of 15th. that is where several buildings were damaged. including the embassy of ecuador. we just back from the scene there. >> the roads are blocked and traffic is so bad, we had to walk just to get here.
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that is the embassy of ecuador. they had three large chimney's on top of the building. all of them came crashing down to the ground when the earthquake hits. we spoke with a truck driver who was outside when the earthquake hit. we also spoke with the head of the affairs. >> what and the world is happening? that is when i saw all the bricks falling down. >> everybody wanted to leave the building. >> that building is still evacuating. the staff is still standing outside. police and fire will look at the scene. we got at least a four or five
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block radius completely shut down to traffic. people have been evacuated from buildings. >> thank you. we are keeping an eye on damage reports from all over the region. we just received an update from prince george's county. they tell us they are looking at dozens of incidents related to the earthquake. including damage at 37 schools. the names of the schools have not been released. >> we have some more eyewitness videos of the damage. >> i want to show you guys one that came in from viewers. they were in their house. they started to feel the shaking
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and the camera rolled. watch and listen. >> someone about crown assets, is that an earthquake? -- someone in the background gas, is that an earthquake? this is just one of the examples. let me show you some of the other pictures. this is from the cathedral. this picture is not exactly the same. you can see some parts of the s pire that collapsed. these are bricks that came down
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in northwest washington. and this is in fredericksburg. damage to a chimney in fredericksburg. we are seeing a lot of damage like this coming in all over the viewing area. chimneys brick facades collapsing. some ceiling tiles buckling. here is southern fredericksburg. not a good day to be a plate and that home. you see the cabinet collapsed. if you look carefully that is a television that fell off the top of a bookcase. we get some of the other video and pictures we have been seen
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throughout the day. if you have photos like the best -- like this, anything that helps us tell the story, send it to us iwitness@wjla.com. all kinds of things, pictures shattering because of this earthquake. substantial damage that we are starting to hear about. we are tracking it all. >> those pictures are worth a multitude of words. serval d.c. land bonds have reported damage tonight. let's go back to suzanne kennedy. she is live at the national cathedral. >> three spires of the central tower were affected by the national cathedral. i want to show you the damage. this all happened at around 1:51
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this afternoon. within the last 45 minutes, i want to show you the videotape. the national park police came through the area with their helicopter. they circled over the national cathedral for about 10 minutes taking close-up photographs. the damage from it could be seen also from the ground where there was plenty of trouble on the south side of the structure. -- rubble in the south side of the structure. people quickly rushed over. >> i thought the bells were falling. i thought the bells were falling to the ground. then you are debris falling. >> you can see the top of the cathedral.
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another close-up picture of the damage that was caused by this 5.9 earthquake this afternoon. the building was quickly evacuated. people felt like they were standing on a wave when they were down in the crypt at the cathedral when the earthquake hit. they realize that parts of it were fallen from about. they have wrapped this building and caution tape to keep people away in the event there was another aftershock. we know that a structural engineer has taken a look at it. the structure of the actual building seems to be intact. we're going to take a closer look at the top part of the cathedral -- they will have a mason your tomorrow. the cathedral of normally opens at 10:00 in the morning. however, it will not open up tomorrow morning.
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>> thank you for all the details. the building is part of a complex called top of the hill apartments. it has structural damage near the roof and a 12-foot crack near the bottom of the building. the resident are anxious to evacuate. >> it is falling apart under our feet. we were trying to escape. >> everybody did get out of the building safely. the apartment building has 110 units. officials say it is not livable. engineers are checking the structural integrity of the other four buildings. in the meantime, the evacuator residents are being offered a place to stay. a shelter is opened to them at the community center. >> there are engineers up and down the national mall.
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>> the u.s. capital was closed down for several hours this afternoon because of the earthquake. the u.s. capitol police, maybe an hour ago, they said that the staff could come back in. it was still close to the general public. these buildings around here -- people started streaming out of these buildings, many in a panic. just about everybody in the area has some experience as to what has happened here. the mayor has been running around the city trying to find out what has happened city hall is closed down as structural engineers go to the building. also, a number of d.c. schools suffered some damage.
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engineers are in all the schools to make sure they are safe. at some point, they will announce whether it is safe for the young people to go back to school. people got out early today because they evacuated. some of them just what time. bea had a nearly traffic jam here in d.c., but now traffic -- we had a traffic jam here in d.c. but now traffic has cleared. here on the mall, things are back to normal. >> we have been with the maryland emergency officials. >> tell us how things are shaping up. >> they have been spending all this afternoon keeping a close eye on every single county in
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the state of maryland. so far, so good. no major damage and no major injuries. we were here talking to the director about hurricane irene. >> that was the last major hurricane. that is a great example. it caused millions of dollars of damage. we just now -- no idea, see what is going on. >> >> he had never experienced an earthquake before. he did this afternoon. at that point, they evacuated
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the building. it was quite an experience because the whole building just shook. it felt like it was a strong wind blowing. i will forever remember the face of the director of the maryland emergency management agency had on his face when the earthquake hit. he was as surprised as everyone. they did a great job scrambling to make sure they kept in contact with every agency to allow the state to make sure that everything was sound. what they're doing right now is that they are checking on every single bridge and the highways to check on the integrity. the word so far is that everything is a-ok. >> let's get back to our newsroom. >> we have some damage videos. >> i was around seventh and t
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streets when it happens. i thought it was a big train underfoot when it happened. a woman cannot of the food bank and said it was no train. phones for knocked working. a lot of people came over to meet and were concerned that this could be -- let's get right to the video. this is not far from mount vernon square and the convention center. you could see through the windows, lights hanging from the ceiling all the way down to the floor. i spoke to a couple of employees that were inside when it happened. >> i was walking between the aisles. everything started shaking. >> did just started shaking and
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everything started falling. i just grabbed my bag. >> not far from there, witnesses saw bricks fall several stories from an abandoned building. i sell at least 10 at traffic lights out in the middle of downtown washington. this is around 13th and h streets. there was nobody there to direct traffic. it was complete and utter chaos. >> lisa fletcher is live in columbia heights. businesses did suffer some damage. >> it is looking better. it is not great for some of the merchants. behind me is a mall that has some big stores. the best i had a pretty serious
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water break in debt ceiling. it seriously flooded the store and there was so much water that it went down into the store beneath it. those two stores are closed indefinitely. targets, not serious damage, but a whole lot of stuff on the floor. fear and panic sent people into the streets. >> there was a radio shack sign. i saw it shaking. the windows were bending. we saw the employees come out. i thought god was trying to get our attention. he did a good job getting our attention. >> all the funds are down. you cannot call out. all the cell phones are down. there is no signal. >> columbia heights stores evacuated immediately. >> all the clothes were rocking back and forth.
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>> shoppers save water brought down part of the ceiling and best buy. >> i was scared. my life flashed before my eyes. i did not know what was happening. i bought the building was about to collapse. >> the ground moved. >> homeowners gathered in their yards. >> the whole building was shaking. >> my whole apartment show. -- shook. >> people were running out of the stores. >> my house was shaking. it just rocking. it did not stop. >> this is such a naturally busy area. there is a metro stop behind me, the mall is to my left. there is a big community gathering center. when the earthquake hit thousands of people poured into the streets. you could not even walk up and
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down the sidewalk without bumping into somebody. but now, things are getting back to normal. but traffic is normal. -- foot traffic is normal. >> it is amazing how some many people can describe having the same experience. let's go back to check in with greta crews. >> everything is so peaceful right now, but what a crazy afternoon. i am here at the high-school and mineral. it's sustained some minor damage. the kids were in class today. one student was transported possibly with an asthma attack. no serious injuries. everyone everywhere felt this earthquake today. including the busy of food lion
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grocery store down the street. what started out as a normal afternoon ended up with stuff all over the place. people panicked and tried to get to safety. we spoke with some folks that were inside the store. >> it sounded like an airplane was going through that building. it was scary. everything was falling. the glass doors and the front were off. >> what did you do? >> after i got hit in the head with a register, i try to stick my body under the register. >> everything started shaking. people were panicked. a lot of people were crying. i realized what was going on. i live in california, so i have been through earthquakes. it has been a long time. this really shook me up. >> she was still shaking. the food lion is now closed, as
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are some of the other buildings around here. building inspectors get in there and make sure there is no serious structural damage. the dmv here in mineral and the post office, the town hall and a number of buildings they have sustained some serious damage, including some partial roof collapses. at this point, we are realizing that many homeowners here in mineral have a lot of broken glass. >> more stories about what people saw this afternoon when a 5.8 earthquake was felt throughout the area. >> we have been hearing stories from people all day long. a lot of people have been talking about the behavior of the pets before the earthquake
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struck. we just went inside the petsmart to check in. there has been some structural damage. some ceiling tiles have been falling off at a wal-mart here at the shopping center. there have been a few other issues. a lot of people are breathing a sigh of relief tonight. these co-workers were still visibly shaken up. " it felt like -- i really thought the ground was going to open up and swallow us. >> the 5.8-magnitude earthquake could be felt on the pavement. and in the car. >> i thought, oh, great.
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something is up with my car. >> the links varied depending on who you ask. >> at this time depot, employees and customers were evacuated for 20 minutes. >> within a minute, everybody was asked to step outside. they were doing the right thing. >> he was standing in the checkout line when he realized the building was sweating. >> i was waiting in line and i was looking up in the rafters and i notice that they were moving. >> many montgomery county resident say it brings back memories of last july, when they were woken up from another earthquake. >> many are concerned about what is next. >> i will never live in california after this. >> we checked in with home depot to see if anyone has been bringing in ideas -- items to get fixed.
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they expect the cable gets in customers tonight. -- they expect they will get customers tonight. >> doug hill has the latest on another note natural phenomenon. hurricane irene is heading up the east coast. >> 107 mph gusts. the storm actually it weakened a bit. it is a category one hurricane. it is a big hurricane. the upper level winds eroding. forecasters still believe that it will intensify. this is the official track. it takes it just around the outer banks 2:00 saturday afternoon and just off the
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jersey shore to o'clock sunday. the trend the last couple of days has been shifting slowly more east, there's still a possibility that it moved anywhere within this area. it could eventually become a category three. we have to watch it closely. we are not going to note until this time thursday night whether there is a severe threat or a moderate threat to the mid- atlantic area. we will stay on top of it. bob ryan will have a fresh set of eyes on it at 11:00. today has been a very nice day. in the low to mid 50's around the suburbs. take a look at other temperatures around the area.
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we will be clear and comfortable tonight. high pressure moves off shore and it opens the door to warmer conditions tomorrow. a strong cold front could give us a heavy to severe thunderstorms thursday afternoon. and then we will see what happens later on. bob ryan will have more tonight. >> we're just getting word that the u.s. geological survey is about to brief us on what they learned. >> 5.3 and the same area. a little while ago around 1:51 this afternoon, eastern time, we had a 5.8 earthquake in central virginia. i will provide you a little bit of background for these earthquakes from a monitoring perspective. we have an expert on engineering
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and being able to model the impact assessments from these kinds of earthquakes. we also have a geologist who is very familiar with many of the seismic sources around the country. to begin with, these earthquakes -- let's start with the colorado sequence. they have occurred over the last 24 hours in southern colorado. about 15 miles southwest of trinidad, colorado. more than a dozen earthquakes the largest with a magnitude 5.3. there have been notable widely felt earthquakes 4.6 3.9.
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the thing to note about the southern, about a sequence is that it is an area where we have had storm activity before. on august 22, 2001, we had a swarm of earthquakes and the same area of southern colorado. the largest in that sequence was about a 4.6. the sequence lasted for several weeks. we have people been deployed to southern colorado. so we can get more precise locations. the magnitude 5.3 and the aftershocks are all consistent with the geology of southern colorado. the earthquakes are occurring on some normal faults. this is very consistent on what we have felt based on the geology of earthquake history.
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there are people modern trend this one. we tend to see that things in this area and they tend to be a number of earthquakes, dozens of earthquakes over a series of several weeks. then they tend to die off. 5.3 is the largest that we have seen in this region. 5.3 in colorado is the largest earthquake in the last 44 years in colorado. moving non to va. -- moving on to virginia. we had a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the central virginia seismic zone. about 15 miles

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